Follow us on Twitter

Protecting Marriage Rights

As an advocate for children and their families, MNAAP believes that extending the freedom to marry will have positive consequences for the health and well-being of children and adolescents in Minnesota. The chapter stands by the American Academy of Pediatrics' position of the right of every child and family to the legal, financial, and psychosocial security that results from having legally recognized parents who are committed to each other and to the welfare of their children.

"This boils down to a child health issue. As pediatricians, we have a responsibility to show concern for all children, youth and young adults. By supporting the freedom to marry, we are letting our LGBT patients and their families know that they are supported by their pediatricians. Many of them are already at increased risk of bullying, violence and suicideand extending their extending the freedom to marry will help reduce the social stigma they face every day." -- Robert M. Jacobson, MD, FAAP, president of MNAAP.

As for the children who are raised by same-gender parents, MNAAP notes there is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research has documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. Rather, children's optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family than by the particular structural form it takes.

The family is the principal caregiver and the center of strength and support for all children. Specifically, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes the following:

1. LGBT adolescents and their families need to know they are supported by their pediatricians and their communities.

2. Marriage amendments that limit the freedom to marry may lead to an increase in bullying and violence against LGBT youth and greater intolerance for them and their families. These children are already more prone to bullying and suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

3. Nationally, nearly one-quarter of all same-sex couples are raising children and eight percent of them are raising children with special health care needs. There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research has documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. Rather, children's optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family than by the particular structural form it takes.

Policy Statement

Office-Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013.

Research

Sexual Orientation and Adolescents. American Academy of Pediatrics, Barbara L Fankowski, MD, MPH; and the Committee on Adolescence, Pediatrics. 2004, 113:1827-1832.

The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children, James G Pawelski et al. Pediatrics 2006;118;349-364

Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health Pediatrics 2002;109;339-340

Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents, Ellen C. Perrin and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Pediatrics 2002;109;341-344

The American Psychological Association on Children Raised by Gay and Lesbian Parents: How do These Children Fare? June 11, 2012

Prevention of Public Health Risks to Bullying: A Need for a Whole Community Approach. Jorge Srabstein et all International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 2008;20(2):185-189

2010 Census Snapshot: Same-Sex Couples in Minnesota (includes percentage raising children)

Past communications/letters to the editor/interviews with media regarding the 2012 Marriage Amendment:

8/28/12 Press Release

10/16/12 Dr. Alan Goldbloom's letter to the Star Tribune

10/4/12 Dr. Mattke's letter to the Rochester Post

10/4/12 Drs. Jacobson and Scott letter to the editor of the Duluth News Tribune

9/23-12 - Dr. Ehlinger's letter to the editor of the Star Tribune

9/7/12 - Dr. Leof's letter to the editor of the Rochester Post Bulletin

8/28/12 - Dr. Jacobson's Interview with WCCO Radio

8/28/12 - Star Tribune article

8/28/12 - Minnesota Public Radio article

8/28/12 - Pioneer Press article

More information

If you are an MN-AAP member and have questions or would like more information about MN-AAP's position, please contact cairns@mnaap.org